Swerwer Touriga Nacional 2018

By , 31 January 2020



Dry red.

Swerwer Red 2018 by Swartland-based Jasper Wickens was top-notch (see here) but the Touriga Nacional from the same vintage and made according to the same new-wave tenets (early pick, whole-bunch fermentation) isn’t quite as convincing. Fynbos, dark fruit, earth and spice on the nose, the palate showing good depth of fruit, fresh acidity and grippy tannins, it’s pleasant enough but has no great nuance. Approximate retail price: R275 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 89/100.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.

Attention: Reviews like this take time and effort to create. We need your support to make our work possible. To make a financial contribution, click here. Invoice available upon request – contact info@winemag.co.za


11 comment(s)

Please read our Comments Policy here.

    Tim James | 3 February 2020

    What strange comments there are among this lot. It seems entirely desirable to me that a taster should bring in factors that are significant to the wine (possibly age of vines – but remember the great initial success of the Raats Eden wines; and the suitability of winemaking techniques to the variety) or significant to the puchaser (price). Incidentally, when I tasted the Wickens wines for Platter six or seven months back, I also rated the Touriga the lowest in the whole splendid range (at 90 points, just one above Christian’s).

    Kwispedoor | 2 February 2020

    I don’t see any malice in Christian’s review and he has to call it as he sees it. Some credibility will certainly be lost if he waxes lyrically about every single wine.

    Still, you guys got me curious enough to pop one of these bottles today. Of course my opinion must be taken with a pinch of salt, because I didn’t taste it blind (and I love the Swerwer wines), plus it’s just one guy’s opinion.

    My initial impression on the nose was eartiness (more the minerally earthy vibe than the composty earthy vibe), with some dark fruit. Then emerged some floral perfume and red fruits. Later even raw dough and a touch of musk. The palate was chalky and really nicely balanced. Some whole bunch character (not overly so), perhaps a bit of older wood and a dry finish. Even the back label speaks of a “prominent tannin structure”, but I found only slightly grippy, though polished at the same time. Jasper is a bit of a tannin management wizard IMHO, so I’m not really surprised about the lovely texture.

    I really liked the wine and my wife and I polished it in no time. It’s still very primary, so I think patience will be well rewarded.

    We might think nowadays that a Cabernet Sauvignon at 12.5% ABV might be reigned in a bit, but I’ve had plenty of Cabs from the sixties to early eighties (given, they weren’t all 100% cultivar wines) of that ilk that was fantastic. Most Ouwingerdreeks Treinspoor Tintas hover around 13% ABV. Perhaps we need more time for Touriga to show how it will perform in different terroirs – Swartland is not Malgas or Calitzdorp or the Duoro, although the Niepoorts have also made Touriga in a fresher style.

    Hennie Taljaard | 2 February 2020

    Hi Christian, you cannot penalize a wine because you believe it should be made in a different style. You need to judge it on its own merits. Your comments about price and age of vines is unfounded.

    Kwispedoor | 31 January 2020

    I quite liked this, but admittedly only had a quick taste. To be fair, Touriga is a bit of a monster grape and I think this wine could very well be quite some time away from putting its best foot forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like our content?

Show your support.